On the heels of a significant loss of funding, our local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization has cut back on spending and personnel.
The three-county organization which serves Grayson, Hardin and Larue Counties lost its United Way funding this year, turning their $180,000 annual budget into a constricting $70,000 budget for the year.
The annual budget for Grayson County alone dropped by $7,500, and BBBS of Kentuckiana CEO Jeri Swinton said, “On a $25,000 budget, that’s a significant loss for us.”
Swinton stressed that while the organization is unable to carry on in exactly the same manner as before, it will remain active and is still seeking volunteers.
“All matches in existence will continue to remain open,” Swinton said, adding “even with this loss of funding, we feel like we’ve got room to make a few more matches in Grayson County.”
Volunteers are still needed for site-based programs at Lawler Elementary School and Grayson County Middle School in addition to the need for big brothers and big sisters for individual children on our local waiting list.
Swinton said that personnel cutbacks had to be made as a result of the loss in funding.
“A part of what we had to do in order to balance the budget was reduce positions, including positions which recruit volunteers and raise dollars.”
This loss caused further need for revenue adjustments, she said.
Swinton said that the organization will seek United Way funding again next year. “We’re continuing to talk to United Way to see what we can do to get funding next year. I feel very hopeful about that. We’re hoping that this does not mean this is a forever thing.”
BBBS fundraisers such as the annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake event will continue, and while donations should not be made through United Way this year, they can still be made directly to BBBS of Kentuckiana.
Swinton said of the local advisory council, “This could be a time when people want to be less involved, but we’ve seen an increase in their involvement and commitment. They h ave been wonderful.”
Anyone who wishes to volunteer or donate is encouraged to contact the Hardin County office at 270-351-2220.As always, BBBS believes that donated funds should stay local, so all Grayson County donations will go toward helping children in Grayson County only.